Personalization. It’s one of the most talked-about trends in the marketing world. 

Marketers—us included—continue to preach the importance of understanding your customers and delivering targeted, personalized campaigns based on what you know about them.

But what does developing an actual personalized marketing strategy actually entail? 

What Is Personalization In Marketing?

Personalization can be as simple as including a person’s name in the subject line of an email. But as marketing technology has advanced, so too has personalization. Marketers can now offer highly-targeted campaigns based on a person’s buying preferences, demographic information, web activity, and more.

Make no mistake about it—today’s customers want a personalized experience. The statistics speak for themselves: 

  • 77% of B2B sales and marketing professionals believe that personalization builds better customer relationships.
  • 55% of B2B sales and marketing professionals said that personalization can bring higher conversion rates and growth. 
  • 42% struggle to fully personalize their marketing strategies. 

Personalization allows you to make stronger bonds with customers, create more targeted and useful content, and ultimately boost sales. 

Benefits Of Personalization In Marketing

By creating and distributing the right kind of content to the right person, you can drastically increase conversion rates. And what’s more, customers go crazy for it: 91% of consumers are more likely to shop with brands who provide relevant offers and recommendations. 

Consumers know what they want, and they aren’t afraid to say no to a service or product that doesn’t meet their unique, personalized needs. 

In addition to creating a better user experience, personalized marketing provides a host of benefits to your overall company brand. Let’s take a look at some of the perks of adopting a more personalized approach in your marketing strategy:

1. It Humanizes Your Brand.

Personalized messages introduce a human element to your brand that consumers are more likely to respond to. Whether in an email or a pop-up message, every point of contact should be more or less tailored to that specific user. 

When every touchpoint with a customer is customized to a specific pain point they’re having, customers feel as though their needs are being directly catered to by a human being, rather than some kind of creepy robot. 

2. It Boosts Sales And Conversions.

Personalization is a useful tool to steer customers in the direction they didn’t even know they needed to go in. When you learn about who your customers are, you can start to target their specific pain points and thus address them by offering solutions or product recommendations. 

When you speak to smaller, more target groups of people, they find your content more relevant. This translates into increased sales, improved customer satisfaction, and better online visibility. 

3. It Improves Customer Experiences.

At the end of the day, personalization provides the customer with an overall positive and engaging user experience. When you address a customer by their name, you make them feel good, and thus more likely to buy your product or service. 

Think about it: have you ever gone to a company’s website, or called their customer service line with the hopes of speaking with a real person. Yet were met with a host of automated messages? You end up frustrated and less likely to interact with the brand in the future. 

Marketing personalization can help you to avoid these problems all together: 

1) because users will inherently have better online experiences with your company and its services and 

2) because they will automatically feel as though they are interacting with a person rather than an automated bot. 

By taking the time to understand exactly what your customers want and giving it to them, you are saving them time and saving yourself money. You make their overall experience with your brand more effective and more efficient—making it more likely that they will want to work with you again. 

4. It Increases Brand Awareness.

When you create a company with a brand that actually cares about its customers, you’re simultaneously improving your overall brand image, awareness, and memorability. 

Why? Because we are more likely to remember a message or an email that was addressed directly to us and our own problems, rather than something generic that was sent out to a long list of recipients. 

How To Implement Personalized Marketing 

1. Segmentation

At the core of personalization is customer and contact data. Think about it: Without data, how will you know who your best buyers are, what message resonates with them, or how to convince them to make a purchase? 

The short answer is, you can’t. The most basic way to leverage contact data for personalized marketing is through prospect list segmentation.

List segmentation is exactly what it sounds like – the process of breaking up a marketing list into several smaller, more targeted prospect lists, utilizing key customer data points. Through list segmentation, marketers are able to deliver the most relevant content to prospects and customers. 

Customers don’t just love this level of personalization – marketers do too! In fact, they have noted a 760% increase in revenue after segmenting their campaigns. 

I know what you’re thinking, segmentation isn’t new—and you’re right. What we’re recommending for 2020 and beyond is that you reevaluate the way you’re currently segmenting your email marketing lists and experiment with more granular data points such as:

  • Demographic data
  • Firmographic data
  • behavioral /engagement data
  • Tech stack data
  • Psychographic data
  • Purchase history
  • Buyer’s journey 

2. Adopt a Single Customer View (SCV)

By definition, a single customer view is an aggregated, consistent, and holistic representation of the data known by an organization about its customers. 

If you only remember one piece of information from this article, let it be this: The key to successful personalized marketing in 2020 is your brand’s ability to form a single customer view.

For experienced marketers, the concept of a single customer view is nothing new. In fact, it has consistently ranked as a top priority for many brands over the years. Despite its importance, many brands still struggle to create a 360-degree view of their target. 

What’s standing in the way? Poor data management. Like most organizations, your brand probably generates and collects a large amount of data through an array of channels – from marketing automation and CRM to your corporate contact database. 

Unsurprisingly, this can often result in fragmented, un-uniformed customer data, stored in a number of disconnected data silos.Ultimately, an SCV provides you with:

  • Channel consistency 
  • Brand loyalty
  • Increased revenue 

3. Allow For Self-Personalization

Allowing customers and prospects to customize their own experience is a no-brainer way to guarantee your prospects are met with design, content, and functionality suited to their needs. Here are a couple effective examples:

Preference centers: Preference centers are pages within a mobile-app or website that allow users to manage their communications with a brand – from message frequency, to channel, to even the topic of the content. When executed effectively, preference centers can guarantee that every correspondence your audience receives is relevant, and in most cases, can even prompt more engagement.

Surveys: The quickest way to understand what your prospects and customers want is to ask them. Ask a segment of your users or website visitors to take a survey regarding their experience with your brand, their buying preferences, or product suggestions. Then, use their responses to tailor the customer experience.

Customer service chatbots: This last idea corresponds perfectly with the final section of this article. A customer service chatbot is an easy way to collect customer feedback without expending too much time or manpower. Check out the next section to learn more about our thoughts on marketing technology and artificial intelligence.

4. Use Technology

While undoubtedly effective, there is one major factor that inhibits wide-spread adoption of personalized marketing: It’s time-consuming, resource-intensive, and expensive. 

Luckily, technological advancements have allowed us to leverage tools to do the dirty work for us. Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last few years, you’re likely familiar with predictive learning and artificial intelligence.

These forms of technology have the ability to streamline and scale the personalization process. Rather than targeting segments of your audience, AI now enables you to cater to an audience of one.

Although there’s a camp of people who are terrified of being replaced by AI, this technology will enable us to scale our efforts and market our products better. 

Look for technologies and tools that will take the manual analysis and labor out of marketing personalization. Then, invest in programs and software that easily integrate into your existing marketing technology stack

Attract (And Keep) More Customers With Personalized Marketing

There are a host of softwares and strategies you can utilize in order to personalize your content and outreach efforts. One creative way to start testing the waters is to create a business blog your audience would enjoy. At the end of the day, personalized marketing comes down to genuine connections with current and prospective customers. 

Before you can start developing customized marketing strategies, you have to first determine what makes your brand unique, and identify how it’s useful to consumers. Only then will you be able to craft authentic messaging that will speak to potential buyers.

Because in a world where the consumer has all the power, it’s time to stop marketing to them, but with them.

About the author

Reyna LaRiccia

Reyna LaRiccia is a Content Marketing Specialist at ZoomInfo, the leading B2B contact database and sales intelligence solution.

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